Iran has already attacked. While in cyberspace
Material posted: Publication date: 23-03-2012

The world only wonders when will the bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities. Meanwhile, the war against the country in full swing. As expected, shocks originating from abroad. Only the fighting while there have been no explosions of rockets and howling shells - in cyberspace. The goal is to slow down an Iranian nuclear bomb. But this is not a bloodless war. First dead it already has.

On 12 November 2011, "father" missile programs of Iran General Hassan Moghaddam on military ground held a meeting, which was attended by 35 of the leading Iranian experts and senior officers of missile troops. At a time when General Moghaddam demonstrated to their colleagues on a computer model of the characteristics of the new warhead of the missile Sejil 2, there was an explosion. The first exploded the warhead of a missile, then the solid fuel in the rocket engines. All the participants were killed on the spot.

According to foreign experts, there was a suicide bombing missiles at unauthorized team coming from the computer used for modeling, or hostile intelligence agencies recruited workers range missile, who gave the computer commands to rocket explosion

Was recently made public an incident that occurred on an American military base in 2008. Then in the toilet at the base, which was the war in Iraq, were scattered flash cards, purposely infected with a virus. According to the newspaper The Guardian, it has done some exploration of the country, making the assumption that some of the military sooner or later will pick up the flash drive and in violation of the rules will connect it to service computer. As a result in the computer system of the Central staff of the U.S. army got a harmful self-replicating worm, and its removal took 14 months.

21 September 1997 due to a failure during testing of a software module of the Smart Ship on the missile cruiser with the U.S. Navy Yorktown (CG-48) was out of order all electronic systems of a military ship: engines, weapon systems, guidance and protection, even air conditioning and lighting. The flagship of the squadron for over two hours turned out to be completely useless. According to some reports, the ship was not able to recover from failure, and was brought into port in tow. Such a catastrophe could be initiated by computer virus.

Chief of military intelligence of Israel General Amos Yadlin believes that today, cyberspace is the fifth dimension of warfare - along with land, sea, air and outer space. The war in cybersmart has the same great value as the air war in the twentieth century. Cyberspace plays an increasingly important role in international conflicts. This new battlefield, but the battle is not traditional weapons but based on completely new principles.

Computer viruses — they, like slim, elegant rapier, striking the enemy suddenly in the most unexpected point, it would seem, perfectly protected. But isn't rapier is not a weapon?

In July 2009 it became known about serious accidents that have occurred on mining and beneficiation plant in Natanz, Central Iran's nuclear program. This enterprise is enriched uranium. According to Iranian media and the BBC, as a result of the disaster at the plant, the number of centrifuges that enrich uranium, has dropped by a quarter.

October 12, 2009 there was a series of three of the strongest explosions in one of the most secret bases in Iran, where they were placed ballistic missiles, "Shihab-3" intended to hit Israeli targets. As reported by the source Agency Debka, a few missiles, launchers and warheads had been destroyed. It was reported that it is on the basis of the Islamic revolutionary guards Corps Imam Ali, near the town of Khorramabad in Western Iran, in the Zagros mountains.

Three explosions occurred one after another in the depths of the tunnels, destroyed part of the Iranian missile launchers. The tunnels were also damaged and cannot be used in the near future to launch rockets.

A series of mysterious accidents on Iran's nuclear facilities has sparked the interest of foreign experts. Many experts come to the conclusion that the cause of the accident was not a random coincidence, is the result of a carefully planned and executed attack on a computer system that performs the management of these objects. This is a brand new stage of warfare that is causing huge concern among information security professionals.

The question in this case was about the Stuxnet virus, which is a deadly weapon taking out of technological objects and which, probably, could be created to attack specific targets.

Director of the Board of information technologies of the Ministry of industry of Iran Mahmud of LIII stated that the attack takes place on about 30,000 computers. "A computer worm capable of transmitting information about production processes and the developments abroad to our enemies. Iran has declared electronic war," said Liyai.

According to "guru" information security E. Kaspersky, the Stuxnet virus – "the product is very, very professional, one might say - the masterpiece of engineering". According to E. virus fight the virus is extremely limited.

A study conducted by Symantec, which specializes in computer security, showed that the Stuxnet worm was specifically designed to damage electronic systems at nuclear facilities of Iran.

The inspection carried out by experts revealed that during the cyber attacks occurred failures of a certain type of equipment: frequency Converter, operating at a frequency 807 – 1.210 Hz. Such converters are used in a limited number of devices, primarily in centrifuges that Iranian engineers used to enrich uranium, noted Reuters. Infected converters changed frequency of operation of the devices, which led to disaster.

The experts came to the conclusion that the purpose of Stuxnet are PLCs from Siemens, which are widely used for control of technological devices on Iranian nuclear plants. Siemens for decades supplied its computerized equipment to nuclear objects of Iran.

To understand how the Stuxnet virus can disable programmable controllers of Siemens, is to say a few words about systems of control and management, so-called SCADA, without which no cost, today no major technological object.

The SCADA system represents a pyramid, the base of which consists of hundreds or even thousands of programmable controllers are mounted directly or close to the control objects. Their programming, diagnosis and service connected for this purpose by the programmers, which are typically personal computers or laptops.

Experts describe the effect of the Stuxnet virus. He seems to be wedged in the communication between the controller and factory automation - intercepts requests for reading/writing data to programmable controller requests to write data are used to "contamination" of the microelectronic elements, and the read requests carefully wash all traces of penetration.

Infected controller does not issue the presence of the virus, which does not allow to diagnose the damaging effects. As a result of the failure of process equipment that is fraught with disaster and huge losses.

Cyber attack on the nuclear centre in Natanz showed that the virus, like Stuxnet, can weaken the whole country, damaging infrastructure, reported the Swiss newspaper Le Temps. "Stuxnet has completely changed the situation," stated the publication.

"It is the deliberate sabotage" - says Ralph Langner, the computer expert from Hamburg, zakodirovatsia virus. According to the analysis of Langer, who leads the firm's information security Communications Langner, Stuxnet was developed by a team of experts who have inside information and intelligence about the nuclear plant and modern technical equipment. Only the state may have similar resources, the expert believes.

Ralph Langner is very serious about changing the picture of the targeted cyber attacks: "In Iran we are seeing the first real cyberwar in history. Although this term has been used before, this time it is the first time on military operations in the strict sense of the word. These attacks are designed to destroy military targets. The software was used as a weapon for attack on Iran, while it possesses the same destructive force that antiangina bomb or cruise missile. A related objective is the physical destruction".

In the General opinion of experts, a cyber attack of this magnitude and effectiveness could spend only the workforce that are currently available in a few countries, which sharply narrows the circle of potential participants of cyber warfare. These experts include, primarily, the USA, Israel, Russia and China. Suspicion for the blasts at Iranian nuclear and missile sites fell on the U.S. and Israel. According to Ralph Langner, "Israel and the United States technically equipped enough to carry out cyber attacks of this level. And they have a motive: the desire to stop Iran's nuclear program".

In favor of attack from the state is evidenced by the fact that the virus Stuxnet is not the Creator brings no financial benefit. "I think this is the beginning of a new era: the era of cyberterrorism, cyberweapons and cyberwars", - so has estimated the event, Eugene Kaspersky.

Ulrich Ladurner, a journalist of the German newspaper Die Zeit in the article "Iranian war, version 2.0," writes: "the Attack by Stuxnet seems to have slowed down the implementation of Iran's nuclear program without bombing nuclear facilities. Neither dead nor wounded. At first glance, the net work". However, the author continues, - cyber attacks can lead to death and destruction as any other. What would happen, for example, if the Stuxnet virus caused the failure of the reactor?". Cyberwar can lead to chaos, says Ulrich Ladurner.

Along with the destruction of communications systems and the introduction of deadly viruses into the systems of control of technological objects, cyberwar involves the control of information, roaming in the world wide web.

About one of the secret centers of interception information flow tells French magazine Le Monde Diplomatique. The article is about one of the largest database of electronic intelligence (SIGINT) in the world. It is located in Israel, in the Western Negev.

According to the report, on the basis of 30 antennas and satellite dishes of different sizes and types, giving the opportunity to listen to phone conversations and to access e-mail of "governments, international organizations, foreign companies, political groups and individuals". According to British journalist Duncan Campbell, "they listen to everything that passes through satellites. They listen to everything and everyone."

There is almost no significant area in the daily life, which would be controlled through computer networks. It is difficult to determine which one is the most important energy, banking, stock exchange, civil aviation. Hit by any of these industries can cause huge damage to the economy and security of the state.

The Explorer edition of The Daily Beast Eli lake says, referring to former and current employees of U.S. intelligence that when you strike on Iranian nuclear facilities likely to apply not only aircraft and missiles, and cyber weapons that will block electricity, the Internet, mobile communication, and the range of frequencies for public services. For example, developed a weapon that is able to simulate a signal to switch mobile network into sleep mode - then the network is actually disabled, writes lake, according to sources.

The attacking forces are likely to take advantage and weak point in the nodes that control power grids Iranian cities - they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to the computer worm Stuxnet type. One of the sources claims that can be carried out DDOS-attack on the nodes of the command and control system of Iran using the Internet.

High-ranking air force officers and specialists in the field of cyber warfare is war told the editor of the weekly American weekly Aviation Week David Pulham, that have the potential to "crack the air" and go thus on any line of electronic enemy communications, and even to intervene in the talks, sending the parties a different kind of disinformation.

The head of the newly established Cyberstore the USA at the Pentagon, General Keith Alexander, recently speaking in Congress, said that over the past three years, the threat of cyber warfare is growing rapidly.

In April 2011, the Iranian authorities announced a new cyber-attack, this time, with the help of the virus Stars. Experts say that this is a new era of wars in cyberspace.

The events of recent years clearly show that cyberwar over the Internet may lead to the collapse of the system of survival of the whole nation, if a country has no protection systems. Today it is possible to paralyze a country without tanks and planes. And no army in the world can not yet prevent this.

The Russian foreign Ministry has appointed "looking" for cyberspace

In the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia appeared the post of special coordinator on political use of information and communication technologies, with the rank of Ambassador-at-large, according to the newspaper "Kommersant" with reference to sources in the Ministry.

According to the newspaper, has been appointed Andrey Krutskikh, before holding a post of Deputy Director of the Department of new challenges and threats of the Russian foreign Ministry. Previously, he headed the working group of governmental experts of the UN on problems of international information security.

"This group in 2010 presented to the UN Secretary General report, which for the first time at such a high level was necessary to develop common approaches in combating cyber threats, and admitted that these threats may come not only from criminals and terrorists, but also from the States", — the newspaper writes.

Judging by the new appointment in the Russian foreign Ministry, Moscow has realized not only the importance of the topic, but also the fact that for successful competition with the United States need adequate power. Experts do not exclude that Moscow's next step will be the establishment within the Ministry of defense special paramilitary units, like the US cyber command.


Alexander Shulman


Tags: Iran , Russia , USA , information war